September 8 Energy News

September 8, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Why the smart money is now on renewables” • When it comes to the energy sector, the Australian investment community has clearly decided that renewable energy is not only viable, but is the way of the future. This year alone, renewable energy projects worth more than A$7 billion will either commence construction or be completed in Australia. [Business Insider Australia]

Wind turbine technicians (Photo Mark Kolbe | Getty Images)

¶ “Wired Japan woefully unprepared for EMP attack” • North Korea’s announcement that it has a hydrogen bomb raised fears of a new kind of attack that completely bypasses many hurdles of delivery technology: an electromagnetic pulse. An EMP attack would damage or destroy power and communications systems, and disable nuclear power plants. [The Japan Times]

World:

¶ The government of Scotland is now planning to phase out the sale of new petrol/gasoline and diesel cars by the year 2032, a full 8 years earlier than the current plans of the UK government. The plan was revealed by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Scotland currently accounts for roughly 10% of the UK’s total auto market. [CleanTechnica]

Princes Street, Edinburgh

¶ Energy storage is seen as a technology critical to the effective deployment of renewable energy. In Australia, the government of the Australian Capital Territory is undertaking the second-largest roll-out of household batteries in the world (after Germany), through a program specifically aimed at boosting energy storage capacity. [Petroleum Economist]

¶ Researchers from the UK and China are to collaborate on five projects aimed at developing next generation offshore renewable energy technologies. The three-year initiative, which will include offshore wind, wave, and tidal energy projects, aims to maximise the environmental and socio-economic benefits of renewable energy. [reNews]

Offshore wind project (reNews image)

¶ The Asian Development Bank’s Board of Directors approved the disbursement of a loan of up to $2 million to develop solar energy capabilities and coverage in Samoa. The project is also getting other funding. It will install up to 4 MW of solar power generating capacity, which will save an estimated 1.7 million liters of diesel per year. [pv magazine International]

¶ German energy company Innogy has officially opened its 2-MW Grudie run-of-river hydro scheme at Kinlochewe in Scotland. The scheme, which cost £7.6 million, is on the Grudie river near Loch Maree, about seven kilometres from Kinlochewe. It took 15 months to construct and became operational in April 2016. [reNews]

Grudie hydro scheme in the Highlands (Innogy image)

¶ In Kenya, efforts to produce wind power on a grand scale are underway. The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is a 12-hour drive from Nairobi and, once operational, is set to provide 310 MW of renewable power to the Kenyan national grid. With 365 turbines, it is the largest wind farm in Africa, according to the project’s director. [CNBC]

¶ The small Greek island of Tilos, in the Aegean Sea, not far from the coast of Turkey, has a population of just over 500 people, and 13,000 tourists a year. It has focused efforts on renewables and by the end of the month will be able to achieve energy autonomy. It is the first island in the Mediterranean to have achieved such a result. [EURACTIV]

Tilos, an island with 500 inhabitants (Shutterstock image)

¶ Tired of its citizens forking over hard-earned yen to regional utilities and keen to promote its own renewable energy, Miyama became one of the first municipalities to start its own electricity retailer amid the deregulation of Japan’s power market. Major cities like Kyoto, Yokohama, and Sapporo are considering similar moves. [Bloomberg]

¶ Two Australian corporate heavyweights, Telstra and Macquarie Group, are looking to build or purchase solar and wind farms in Australia in yet more signs that investment is moving beyond the world of utilities looking to fulfill legislated targets. And as their customers defect, Australian utilities are taking an increasing interest in renewables. [RenewEconomy]

Large solar farm

US:

¶ EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told CNN in an interview about Hurricane Irma that the time to talk about climate change is not now. “Here’s the issue,” Pruitt told CNN in a phone interview. “To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm, versus helping people or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced.” [CNN]

¶ President Donald Trump famously said he represented the citizens of “Pittsburgh, not Paris.” But for the citizens of today’s Pittsburgh, who have spent the last three decades remaking the Steel City into a multi-industry hub for education, healthcare, technology, and sustainable development, clean energy is playing a central role. [CleanTechnica]

Phipps Garden Center, Pittsburgh

¶ Solar roof tile production at Tesla’s “Gigafactory 2” production plant in Buffalo, New York, has now begun, as of the end of August, according to the company’s Chief Technical Officer. Up to this point, for development reasons, Tesla’s new solar roof tiles have only been produced on a small scale in a plant in Fremont, California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A study from Denver’s Department of Environmental Health shows that moving to 100% clean energy by 2030 or earlier is an achievable strategy that Denver can pursue to meet its 80% by 2050 carbon-reduction goal. The report comes just weeks after the mayor issued a vision for powering all of Denver with renewable energy. [North American Windpower]

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